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Everything you need to know about the family-friendly Harwich Festival 2019

PUBLISHED: 18:06 10 June 2019 | UPDATED: 18:38 10 June 2019

Japanese classical pianist Noriko Ogawa who will be performing at the harwich Festival Photo: Harwich Festival

Japanese classical pianist Noriko Ogawa who will be performing at the harwich Festival Photo: Harwich Festival

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The Harwich Festival is all about getting the community together to celebrate local talent and creativity. We take a look at this year's events which includes a performance of a West End Phantom

Earl Carpenter as Javert from the production of Les Miserables. Earl Carpenter is performing at this year's Harwich Festival.   Photo: Michael Le Poer Trench.Earl Carpenter as Javert from the production of Les Miserables. Earl Carpenter is performing at this year's Harwich Festival. Photo: Michael Le Poer Trench.

Harwich will be awash with music, stories, song and dance at this year's family friendly Harwich Festival, which begins next week.

As well as live performances there will be plenty of opportunities to enjoy the visual arts as well as the spoken word. The festivities open on Thursday, June 20 with the Ebenezer Brass Band, who include local musicians Jimmy and Tom Monahan and Chris Strachan, and will be touring the town from 7.30pm to 10pm, stopping off at the venues staging this year's major art installations.

Then on Friday June 21, world-renowned Japanese classical pianist Noriko Ogawa will be performing two recitals at lunchtime and in the evening at St Nicholas' Church, the first a free concert tailored to parents of disabled or autistic children, but everyone is invited to attend.

On the morning and afternoon of Saturday June 22, dancers of all ages and styles are encouraged to come out and create a spectacular and spontaneous open-air show under the guidance of Tim Casson and Friends entitled The Dance We Made. It begins at 10.30am at Cliff Park and continues at 2pm at Ha'penny Pier.

Sea windows: shops and houses are decorated for the Harwich Festival Photo: Harwich FestivalSea windows: shops and houses are decorated for the Harwich Festival Photo: Harwich Festival

On the Saturday evening at St Nicholas' church the Harwich and Dovercourt Choral Society will be presenting a programme celebrating the Best of British from mediaeval music to Adele. The event is sponsored by the Pier Hotel.

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Later in the week, again at St Nicholas', on Friday June 28, the young folk of Harwich will gather together at 1pm to present the Harwich Combined Primary School Concert, created by Clare Leach of Harwich Sing.

Harwich Sing will be participating later that evening in Harwich Encore, a broad celebration of local dance and vocal talent also featuring Ballroom Business, founded in 2016 by 18-year-old Chloe Carman and the Boogie Shoes Dance Academy, established in 2006. More than 100 local performers will take part in this event.

Folk duo Jacob and Drinkwater, who have performed at the Glastonbury Festival, will be bringing their acclaimed act to the Harwich Festival  Photo: Harwich FestivalFolk duo Jacob and Drinkwater, who have performed at the Glastonbury Festival, will be bringing their acclaimed act to the Harwich Festival Photo: Harwich Festival

Elsewhere Broadway and London singing star Earl Carpenter brings A Touch Of The West End to St Nicholas' Church on Sunday June 30 at 7.30pm.

Earl, who will be showcasing popular hits from Les Miserables and Phantom Of The Opera, was one of four Phantoms personally selected by Andrew Lloyd Webber to accompany superstar Nicole Sherzinger singing the title song from the show at the Royal Variety Performance.

The previous night on Saturday June 29, Kinks fans are in for a treat when jazz supergroup The Ben Crosland Quintet takes to the stage in the church to perform their acclaimed and dazzling arrangements from the Ray Davies Songbook Volume 2. Among the Quintet will be master electric guitarist John Etheridge from Soft Machine and Dylan Howe, drummer with the Wilko Johnson Band and the Blockheads.

Lovers of folk music will be entertained on Sunday June 23 at 7.30pm, also at St Nicholas', by the brilliant duo Jacob and Drinkwater, who have performed at the Glastonbury Festival and who have been named as "the stand-out new folk group" by BBC 6 Music. Their performance is sponsored by the Alma Inn and Dining Rooms.

Dancers preparing a street dance for the Harwich Festival featuring Ellen Turner, Valentina Golfieri, Robert Guy and Chloe Mead Photo: Benedict JohnsonDancers preparing a street dance for the Harwich Festival featuring Ellen Turner, Valentina Golfieri, Robert Guy and Chloe Mead Photo: Benedict Johnson

The Festival programme also features a top-class schedule of free lunchtime concerts sponsored by the Harwich Town Council and an eclectic mix of shows illustrating the best of classical, jazz, folk, blues, gospel, soul, ambient and world music, plus poetry, literature and theatre.

For more information about this years Harwich Festival and tickets go to www.harwichfestival.co.uk or the Festival Box Office on 07425 145022.

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